Xander groaned as he returned to awareness. His head throbbed painfully and whatever he was lying on… some form of cold metal, was very unpleasant to lie on. His hands were tied behind his back and the ache in his shoulders seemed to indicate that they’d been like that for awhile. Keeping his eyes shut and feigning his continued unconsciousness, Xander forced his sluggish mind to work. The last thing he remembered was walking back towards Cassie’s house with Willow after school.
The memories came back in bits and pieces. The van, the men, he and Willow running and being tackled from behind, the sting of the rough pavement, being injected with something, darkness.
Obviously they’d been knocked out and had apparently been kidnapped. Keeping quiet, Xander cracked his eyes open, squinting against the light. He was lying on the ground of some form of cell. Willow lay beside him, her hands tied behind her back, her red hair falling across her face, obscuring his view of her. Xander hoped she was just sleeping off whatever drug it was that they had been injected with.
Xander wasn’t a genius like Willow but he was smart enough to know that this wasn’t good, especially considering their past experiences with the supernatural in Sunnydale. Xander knew that Giles feared that the two teenagers had earned a reputation in the supernatural world as being allies of the Slayer and had therefore become targets to those who wanted to hurt Buffy, and it looked like the threat had eventuated. Xander wondered what was going through Jack’s head. He hoped that Cassie had escaped and he was pretty sure Jack would be aware of the kidnapping by now. Having already lost one child, Xander imagined that Jack would be very unhappy to learn that he and Willow were missing.
Taking a risk, Xander shifted slightly, looking towards the doorway to the cell. Most of the door was solid metal but there was a clear window in the top half of the door that allowed him to see out. He could see two men, who Xander presumed to be guards of some description. They both looked similar to Murray, although they were wearing some sort of weird armor. Xander flinched, knowing that it was likely that his father’s friend had betrayed them… intentionally or not.
Shifting slightly, Xander continued to lay quietly, knowing that he should try and conserve his strength, just in case he saw an opportunity to try and escape from the prison. Of course, he wouldn’t be able to do anything until Willow woke up and was able to walk. There was no way Xander would be able to carry her out of wherever it was they were. He wasn’t a Slayer after all.
Xander felt his heart constrict when he thought of Buffy. Because they’d been staying at Cassie’s, he and Willow had told Giles that it would be awhile before they were able to call, so it was unlikely that the Watcher would think that anything was amiss, unless Jack rang to inform him of the situation. Buffy was still gone anyway… still at wherever it was that she’d disappeared to after the Angelus affair, so Giles would have to be the one who came to their rescue, along with Cordelia and Oz.
Xander really hoped that the demons outside the cell really weren’t as tough as they looked
Jack found himself in his office, having been ordered from Hammond’s office. Sam sat quietly opposite him, obviously not knowing what to say. Daniel and Teal’c stood near the door. Teal’c face was expressionless but Daniel was chewing his lip nervously, as if he expected Jack to explode in anger. Jack was surprised he’d been so composed as well. He could feel his rage burning in his gut but it had yet to erupt. Jack forced himself to keep that from happening. His team weren’t responsible for what had happened to Xander and Willow. The NID was, as well as the Goa’ulds who had taken the pair.
“Sir… Is there anything I can get for you?” Sam offered and Jack shook his head, wishing that he had a recent photo of the pair in his office. He resolved to arrange for one when they came back. He suddenly thought of the photo on his phone and he reached into his pocket, pulling it out and opening up the photo. He gazed at the screen, looking at Xander and Willow, lying so helplessly, so innocently together, completely oblivious to the danger that was just about to crash into their lives, forever disturbing their perspective on the night sky. No longer would the twinkling stars far above be peaceful and pretty, each star… each planet that they could not see… but knew existed was a potential haven for the monsters that had taken them.
Jack wondered if they were conscious and if they were, how frightened they would be. He imagined Xander standing protectively in front of Willow, his voice straining to keep the fear from showing. Willow’s green eyes would be wide and possibly tear-filled, although Jack wondered if the fierce determination he had seen glimpses of in Willow’s gaze when he knew she was thinking of Sunnydale had made an appearance. He could imagine Willow, in all her red-haired glory, storming up to whichever Goa’uld had taken them and giving them a piece of her mind. Jack chuckled softly to himself at the mental picture before sobering as he thought of the likely repercussions for Willow would be if she did. He didn’t want her to be killed… or tortured. Jack mentally prayed that both teenagers did as they were told and just kept their mouths shut.
Who was he kidding? Xander was far too much like him to take anything a Goa’uld said lying down.
Sam watched as Jack looked at his phone. From where she was sitting she could tell that he was looking at the photo of Xander and Willow huddled up in bed together. She could tell that Jack was struggling to contain his anger, directed at those responsible for taking Xander and Willow away from him. It was amazing how quickly Xander and Willow had wormed their way into Jack’s heart and made themselves at home but Sam wasn’t surprised in the slightest. Jack, still so torn after losing Charlie, had leaped at the second chance to have a family. Now, to have Xander and Willow torn away from the safety of their own sheltered lives and threatened by the very aliens that Jack loathed more than anything else, it was understandable that Jack was struggling to contain his anger.
Sam remembered what it had been like when she’d been sixteen. She knew the world was an unfriendly place and she’d already been jaded by the death of her mother. Her brother had just gone off to college as well at that point of time and things had been tense between her and her father, but Sam knew that she wouldn’t have been able to cope with being kidnapped like Willow and Xander had. She wondered what the pair were going through, if they were okay and if they had realized that they weren’t on Earth anymore, but rather somewhere unknown being held captive by aliens.
One thing was sure, Jack was going to have to do a lot of explain when Xander and Willow came back home. When, not if, because Sam knew just from the look of determination written across Jack’s face that her commanding officer wasn’t going to rest until he got his kids back.
Sam wasn’t the only one thinking about Xander and Willow. Daniel watched on sadly as he observed Jack trying to deal with Willow and Xander’s kidnapping. For him it brought back unwelcome memories of Sha’re and how he’d lost her. Daniel felt his heart clench painfully at the thought of Willow and Xander being made into Goa’uld. It would destroy Jack if he had to kill the two teenagers and Daniel knew that he wouldn’t be able to strike the killing blow. In the time that had passed since they had first met Willow and Xander had grown on him greatly. Willow was a good student, one of the best Daniel had ever had the pleasure of teaching, and he had hoped she would go far with her studies, perhaps one day working in the SGC as a linguistics expert or as a translator for one of the off-world teams. Xander, on the other hand, was exactly like a teenaged Jack would have been like. Caring, loyal, friendly, a jokester, and genuinely well liked by everyone he met. The affection they had for one another was touching to witness. They treated each other like brother and sister. From what Jack had said they were brother and sister in every way, save by blood. They’d known each other since kindergarten; they’d been there for each other throughout everything their lives had thrown at them, although Daniel didn’t know how difficult their younger years had been. From what Jack had said, the last few months for them had been traumatic enough without anything else happening before that.
After everything the pair of teenagers had gone through in the past few months, being kidnapped by some system lord with illusions of grandeur was the last thing they needed. Jack had reported that they’d only just started getting through the night without nightmares, but Daniel was certain that the nights would once again be disturbed at the O’Neill house, and this time there would be a far darker element to the nightmares of its inhabitants…
And Daniel wasn’t just thinking of the kids. He knew from off-world missions that Jack often had nightmares about Charlie’s death. Even if Xander and Willow made it back to Earth reasonably unscathed, Daniel doubted that Jack would ever be able to let go of the fact that he could have easily lost both teenagers, both of his second chances at parenthood (even though that logically made no sense) barely two months after the pair stepped into his life.
Teal’c watched on as his friend struggled to deal with the kidnapping of his young children. Teal’c had no idea what Jack must be feeling at that moment but he could judge from the look of anguish upon the Air Force Colonel’s face that he was devastated. Sam and Daniel Jackson were both looking on as Jack looked at the photographic images of the pair and Teal’c remembered the pair of teenagers that he had known for such a brief period. It had surprised him how similar they both were to Cassie Frasier, the only other teenager that Teal’c had had any real contact with and yet being so very different from her. It made him feel sad, although his grief was not outwardly shown upon his face. He knew that in the days, weeks, months and years to follow, Jack and the rest of SG:1 would need Teal’c’s support in order to overcome the tragedy that had befallen the young pair and Teal’c felt that he would not be able to fulfill this duty if he allowed his own emotions regarding the demise of the pair to overcome him.
While it was true that it had not… and probably would never be… confirmed that the exact fate of Alexander and Willow was their untimely death, either through being taken as a host, torture, or simply being murdered by their captors, there was little doubt in Teal’c’s mind that the pair would not be coming back to earth, not alive at least. He knew, from his prior experience, that two prisoners such as the two Tau’ri youth would not be allowed to survive their captivity. Teal’c had observed that both of the teenagers carried themselves with an air that indicated they had some fighting experience, neither of them were well equipped enough physically to stand a chance at being able to overcome their captives and escape.
And then, of course, there was the problem of neither of them knowing what a Stargate was and how they might be able to make contact with Earth or one of its allies, so that they might be able to return.
As painful as it was for Teal’c to admit, the likable pair stood little chance of survival, if they had not been killed already.
Of course, one thing Teal’c had learned since joining the SGC was to expect the unexpected.
Willow slowly came back to awareness, wincing as she felt the throbbing of her head and neck. She moved slightly, frowning as she felt the hard, metal surface on which she was laying. This certainly wasn’t her nice comfortable bed. It wasn’t even the spare bed at Cassie’s house that she slept on. It wasn’t even a bed at all.
Willow furrowed her brows, trying to make sense of the situation. It came seeping back, like flood waters rising against a levy wall. The van that had approached herself and Xander, Xander calling for Cassie to run, the men, and her and Xander’s failed escape attempt. Willow felt her gut clench before she forced herself to calm down and think rationally. She mentally took a catalog of her injuries. Other than her head and her neck and being a little sore all over, she was uninjured, although her wrists and ankles were both tightly bound together. She lay still, keeping her eyes shut, faking being asleep, unsure of who was around. She couldn’t hear anything, except for a distant humming she assumed was coming from elsewhere in the building she was being held in.
Deciding to take a risk, Willow cracked her eyes open, exhaling deeply when she spotted Xander’s body lying beside her. His eyes were closed but his chest was rising and falling evenly, so Willow guessed he was still alive. While it was bad that they’d both been captured, Willow was very relieved that they were being held together. The idea of being held captive by herself was scary, especially given the demons and other bad guys that were likely to capture herself and Xander.
Willow frowned and looked around the cell they were being held in. It was basically an over-sized metal box with a door on one side that had a little window for their captors to look in at them. She’d never seen anything like this in Sunnydale, which was both a worrying and at the same time comforting thought to have. They’d been attacked in broad daylight, so their assailants obviously were not vampires or if they were, then they were using human goons to do their kidnapping.
Willow was willing to accept anything, after what she’d seen back in Sunnydale, but it seemed unlikely that a vampire would use humans like that. It was, however, possible for another variety of demon to potentially have been involved in their kidnapping, one capable of taking or possessing a human form and without an aversion to sunlight.
Willow thought back on the research books and websites she’d consulted since starting to help with research and began to make a mental list of species their captors might be.
As the list of demons began to grown, Willow came to the conclusion that there were way too many types of shape-shifting demons out there.
Although, when the cell door was roughly opened, waking Xander and drawing Willow from her musing as they gazed up at the tall, bald-headed man with the strange tattoo on his forehead, Willow found herself discounting the list entirely. Something about these guys was decidedly un-Hellmouthy, although Willow was certain that they weren’t ordinary humans either.
Willow glanced at Xander’s face and saw his gaze focused on her own face. She could see the concern, worry, and the faint touch of fear in his eyes that she knew was being shown in hers.
They were in a lot of trouble.A.N. Well, here is the next chapter. I know nothing really happened, but i wanted to write about how each of the key characters is feeling at this point of Willow and Xander's ordeal.
Thanks for the feedback I've been getting, i really appreciate it, and am really happy that so many people out there seem to be enjoying this story.
I hope to not disappoint you.